Statement from Dept of Tourism on Cayman's tourism sector
On Monday, 16 March 2020 the Cayman Islands Government announced the temporary closure of the Owen Roberts International Airport and Charles Kirkconnell International Airport, to protect its borders and avoid further proliferation of the coronavirus in the country.
“As a government we recognize that this difficult decision will be a disruption throughout our economy however the lives of our people in the Cayman Islands are our first and foremost concern. I would like to thank our industry partners who have collaborated with us to ensure a smooth transition through this challenging time,” stated Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism Moses Kirkconnell. “We are confident that the long-term benefits of this border control measure will help us to prevent wider impact throughout our country.”
The closure of the airports is another step to control importing cases of the coronavirus through our air and seaports. Announced last week and effective today, the country has also ceased all cruise calls for a period of 60-days. “The closure of the seaport and now the airport, along with limited essential travel to the Sister Islands are stringent measures, however we are a small country that operates on a very large international platform. Safeguarding our people is the top priority of the Ministry of Tourism and one that I would hope the business community will understand and support,” shared Mr. Kirkconnell.
The government will continue to address all matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, having in place a strong action plan including consultation with key stakeholders. “It’s hard to believe how much our lives have changed in such a short period of time and I know we all feel some level of unease. These measures are to protect all of us—Caymanians, residents, and those who call the Cayman Islands home,” stated Mr. Kirkconnell. “We know that the measures we are putting in place now are going to have an impact on our day to day lives and businesses, but we are fully confident that the efforts we make today are to protect us all. The resilience of our dynamic tourism industry will lead the Cayman Islands to economic rebound.”
For more official information on the Cayman Islands’ ongoing response to the coronavirus, please visit www.gov.ky/coronavirus and www.hsa.ky/coronavirus.